Recycling Program Expanded

by Karla Shirvanian '10

In 2009, Azusa Pacific succeeded in implementing the student-led SCRAPs initiative where students, faculty, and staff lowered their consumption of utilities on the university campus for 40 days. The money saved was sent to build a well through Life Water International, an organization dedicated to providing safe water and adequate sanitation in areas that may not have access to these resources. Now, the campus community is moving towards recycling and renewing for a local cause. APU recently expanded the recycling program on campus to get students more involved and do more for the environment.

Athens Services, the waste management company APU uses, implements a recycling program where items that can be recycled are handpicked out of the waste and recycled, diverting more than 35 percent of waste from landfills to be recycled. Now, APU is stepping up campus recycling to help raise funds for local charities and scholarships. However, before APU can donate funds, the program needs to become sustainable. The program founders are looking to make sure they can afford the program and that it will be a long-lasting campus program. Once the program is fully funded, the excess funds will be donated to a charity.

"My hope is that enough students participate so that we will have funds left over to donate to a charity. I am working with the Office of Ministry and Service to select an appropriate ministry to fund. I would like to promote this program to our students as a 'recycle for clean water' or 'recycle to feed the poor,'" said Toney Snyder, assistant director of environmental stewardship. "Once we choose the ministry, we can begin promoting it this way. I think this fits beautifully with the mission of APU. It also reminds me of the book of Ruth, how Boaz allowed the poor to glean the fields. I would like us to do the same."

Over Christmas break, recycling bins were delivered to dorms and apartments, and larger bins were placed in the common areas, such as the laundry rooms, and a dumpster was added for the University Village apartments. Recycling bins were also installed adjacent to trash cans throughout the campus grounds.

Students received a list of the acceptable materials that can be recycled, such as aluminum cans, glass bottles, and plastic bottles; as well as a list of unacceptable materials, such as Starbucks cups, straws, food, and solo #5 cups.

In addition to expanding recycling efforts, APU spent the last two years working on ways to reduce and be better stewards of the environment. The university diverted 22 tons of cardboard from the landfill in 2007 and installed two cardboard balers behind each dining area in 2008 in order to further divert even more cardboard from the landfill. The university has also installed cool roofs on several campus buildings in order to reduce electric bills. The community is working hard to reduce, reuse, and recycle and become better stewards of God's creation.

"It is very important to sustain and promote because the recycling program represents our abilities as human beings to work towards fulfilling our responsibility to ourselves and the rest of the Earth," said Esteban Salcido, sophomore philosophy major. "Also, the recycling program represents APU's ability to respond to the biblical mandate to live at peace with the Earth and all that is sustained by it."